Early months of 2011 have been a time of growing in community through thoughtful conversation. Ministry and Counsel Committee started us off with a round of discussions exploring our potential inputs for State of the Meeting report. Friends met after meeting for worship and in the evenings at members’ homes to share fellowship, perspective and some excellent food! We shared the richness of our meeting experience, as well as the challenges and barriers we face. Tim and Kim Keck then organized a Friendly cross-country skiing retreat in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Fifteen members of meeting, from young children to “weighty Friends”, traveled into the mountains of West Virginia where they shared outdoor activity, community meals, and an evening discussion about BYM’s new proposed Faith and Practice queries. An excellent time was had by all! One-to-one conversations also explored our shared values and our continuing participation in the Southern Maryland Action Coalition (SMAC), a faith based collaboration which reaches across lines of race and class to affect positive change in our communities. All of these conversations take preparation and thoughtful participation, and all of them are an investment in stronger and better community inside and outside of our meeting.